Leading science, pioneering therapies

High-throughput chemical biology

Cells growing in the human body do so in a complex 3D environment. This 3D shape, as well as its flexibility, softness or hardness can often “tell or dictate” how a cell behaves. We use ink-jet printers to make thousands of materials with different properties and allow cells to find the optimal material from among these thousands – this is akin to us trying out sofa’s in a sofa shop – we find the most comfortable – we do the same with stem cells – allow them to find the most suitable home/surface for them to grow upon.

Mark Bradley

Affiliated researcher
Professor of High-Throughput Chemical Biology, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh
0131 650 4820
Aims and areas of interest

Our research interests are focused on the application of the tools and techniques of chemistry to solve biological/medical problems and address needs, typically with a high-throughput twist. As such we make materials (polymers) that are designed to control or modulate stem cells in areas as diverse as bone repair and enhancement of hepatocyte function. This is achieved by application of both a high-throughput approach (in which we can make and screen thousands of materials) as well as my the generation of unique monomers (e.g. peptide or growth-factor based) that will enhance or promote cell/biomaterial interaction. We also have a major research effort on cellular labelling and tracking, with the synthesis and application of a variety of labels that efficiently (yet benignly) tag cells in vivo.


  • MRC 
  • EU FP7
  • ERC Advanced Grant

We work with a number of groups  at CRM, including:

  • Dr Dave Hay
  • Prof Bruno Peault
  • Dr Paul DeSousa
  • Prof Stuart Forbes
  • Prof Anura Rambukkana

We collaborate with many groups in the UK and overseas, including:

  • Prof Richard Oreffeo – University of Southampton 
  • Prof Tetsuya Taga - Tokyo Medical and Dental University 
  • Prof Rong Zhang - University of Changzhou University 
  • Prof Anne Grapin-Botton – University of Copenhagen 
  • Prof Josh Brickman – University of Copenhagen 
  • Prof Maurizio Pesce - Tissutale Cardiovascolare Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Milan. 
  • Prof Juan Antonio-Marchal - University of Granada 
  • Dr Olga Tura – University of Barcelona